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October 17, 2017

Imagine that, on the second morning of a business trip, you go to unzip your suitcase, only to realize you forgot to pack any pants. With just a few hours before a big presentation, you duck into the closest mall, for a shopping trip with a firm deadline.

You step into...

October 12, 2017

Let’s say you’re reading up on landmark Supreme Court decisions of the past decade. (Hey, everybody needs hobbies.) You’re skimming an article from 2013 about the abolition of DOMA, when you encounter a soundbite from the late Justice Scalia, dismissing his opponent’s...

September 28, 2017

Imagine going to a corporate team-building event where everyone in your office was sorted and evaluated based on the results of taking one of those time-wasting Buzzfeed quizzes, like “Which Disney Character Would You Be Friends With?” or “Which Muppet Are You?” It mig...

September 14, 2017

Making iffy predictions about our future: it’s been a hallmark of human behavior for at least as long as we’ve been recording our present.

Perhaps the most famous early example of forecasting took place in Mount Parnassus in Delphi, Greece. From roughly the 8th century...

September 7, 2017

"What is the most resilient parasite?” asks Leonardo DiCaprio in the 2011 movie Inception. “Bacteria? A virus? An intestinal worm?”

Before anyone can ask what exactly he’s getting at—or volunteer some gruesome facts about, say, toxoplasmosis —DiCaprio answers his own qu...